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LONG    LANCE

dressing^ getting our mother to repair his
regalia and whiten the buckskin with pumice-
stone.

We youngsters would keep awake as long as we
could, then we would drop off to sleep with the
crackling music of the fire in our ears* Daylight
would just be peeping into the teepee from above,
when we would be awakened by what in those
days was the sweetest music I had ever heardómy
father softly chanting his medicine song. We
would turn on our pallets and look over, half-
dazed by sleep, to see what it was; and there3 in
front of a cheerful early morning fire, would be
our father still pulling at his ermine tails and por-
cupine quills, and smiling contentedly to himself.
I used to lie and watch him from under the blanket
for several minutes, but that smile never left his
faceónot even when he laid down his regalia and
started to dress his long braids of hair. He was
happy.

Then something else would reach us: come to
our noses this time. It would be the fragrant
smell of venison being cooked over the fire by our
mother. Softly she would address an occasional
remark to my father, and he would answer her in
the stately guttural baritone of our language,
which has the odd power to be used very harshly
or very softly* But the gentle modulation of
voice and inflection which my father used with my

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